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Facebook program to stop cyberbullying launches in Md.

facebookMaryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has made stopping cyberbullying one of his key initiatives. On Thursday, Gansler, who is also running for governor, announced Maryland would serve as the pilot location for a Facebook-backed program to combat cyberbullying.

The Education Escalation Channel is designed to streamline reporting of cyberbullying on Facebook and provide each school system with a direct line of communication with the social media company.

Facebook outlined the plan Thursday during the Maryland Association of Boards of Education fall conference.

“We can no longer brush off these [cyberbullying] episodes and we must reject a ‘kids will be kids’ mentality that ignores how to confront this troubling trend,” Gansler said in a statement. “I commend Facebook for working with us to give educators a more streamlined way to report possible instances of cyberbullying among their students.”

The launch coincides with the start of National Bullying Prevention Month and with a new law in Maryland that broadens email harassment to include text messaging and social media.